Marshall County Commissioners Discuss Juvenile Detention Center Contract

The Marshall County Commissioners received clarification on a proposed contract for 2015 with the Muskegon River Youth Center in Logoda.

James Pheibush from the probation department explained that he negotiated with the detention center for point to point transport.

“For $149, they will transport a kid from point A to point B which I think is cheap,” stated Pheibush. “If they exceed eight hours in a transport, it’s $238 and I thought that was a bargain compared to having one of our road officers tied up for that many hours and other legal questions involved.”

Pheibush and the chief of the probation department Mary Jane Walsworth assured the commissioners that there is funding in their budget for transportation. Pheibush doesn’t anticipate this to be a regular occurrence. He predicted a handful of transports may be conducted in 2015.

Walsworth reminded the commissioners that juvenile psychiatric evaluations can be conducted at the Juvenile Department of Corrections at no cost to the county. If the juvenile was to have the same evaluation at the Muskegon River Youth Center, that juvenile would be housed there for 30 days at a cost of $119 per day.

The other issue that was addressed by the commissioners in this new contract was compensation for any damage done to the facility. Walsworth explained that there was an incident last year where two juveniles escaped from the facility and damaged an expensive door. The contract includes a provision where the county would be responsible to pay for any damage incurred to the facility by a juvenile with the maximum liability of $2,500. County Attorney Jim Clevenger said if that cost was charged to the county, restitution could be sought by the juvenile or the juvenile’s parents.

The county will also be responsible for any medical care costs.

There were 751 bed days used by Marshall County juveniles through November in 2014. Pheibush said their budget was able to cover the cost to house those juveniles.

The commissioners unanimously approved the contract with the Muskegon River Youth Center.